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Shihtzu poo- STILL not potty trained

Audarah
September 30th, 2010, 08:40 AM
I'm ready to pull my hair out.

I have a four year old, neutered, all shots, dewormed, etc shihtzu poo; and he still isn't house trained. I have tried EVERY method in the book, everything I can find on forums and am now down to my last resort: constant and total supervision (I've done this before and it worked and I thought he was trained. Wrong).

I have tried:
the indoor dog scented mats- and you move them closer to the door then take the dog out.
crate training
I've actually put the dog on a leash and had him with me 24/7 for constant supervision
treats
Feed then potty method, etc
etc. You name it and I have tried it. Minus a dog whisperer, I have done it :)

Recently, I took him to the vet and he was checked, including labs and urine for any sign of illness. He got a clean bill of health. The vet said since he will NOT pee or poop in his crate, to not give up on him. Four years is a long time to not give up!

Since I am now working at home and no longer out of the house, since this summer, I decided that enough was enough and that was when I began crate training and bought some books on how to do it. When he pottied outside, he would get free time, praise and treats (the treats immediately). When he wouldn't potty outside, it was straight back to the cage. This seemed to work; until last month. I haven't had any changes in the house, new animals or anything, etc. It's really just him and I. BUT, I did buy a new carpet to go under the trash can in the dining room- and he noticed.

The problems began with that. I would take him outside and he would go potty and get treats and praise then free time. However, he took up to using his free time to urinate all over the new carpet I put down in the dining room- EVEN if he had just gone outside. I thought the problem was solved, as I removed the rug and used mineral spray. Unfortunately, now he is peeing on EVERY removable rug in the house he can find. Not only that, but he has completely stopped going outside. That started last month. When I would take him straight out of his cage in the morning, I wouldn't

give him a chance to break off and run from me and pee anywhere. Instead, I scoop him up and take him straight outside to the yard. Instead of walking with me though, he REFUSES to move. He just sits there and whines looking at me. This is what initiated the vet trip as I thought for sure something was wrong. That wasn't the case and our cage training was going along fine. I would take him out in the mornings by scooping him up, put him on his leash and walk him for twenty minutes each morning. Now, he just sits there like a lump refusing to move.

After about a week of him doing this, I used one of those pegs and started tying him out. I would sit on the porch and see if maybe MY presence was bothering him. Nope. He would then sit, look like a lump and whine hysterically. The dog was LITERALLY holding his pee and poop. I would have no choice but to bring him back in, give him his food and water and try once again to potty him. Nothing. One morning just last week, I opened his crate and before I had a chance to get his collar and scoop him, he darted off from me, literally peeing a trail everywhere. It was me- chasing the dog- who was peeing everywhere. He wasn't even running remotely close to the door.He ran upstairs to my son's bedroom and began pooping everywhere while also peeing. I literally sat down and cried. I figured "AH HA" though, I caught him in the act! I gave him some VERY firm no's ( mostly while chasing him) and when I caught him took him directly outside.

Lets just say my house was a mess- my dog sat on the leash refusing to move and whimpered at me and I sat on the porch defeated and crying like a two year old.

I, as I type this, have a four year old dog leashed to me. I have no other choice. If this doesn't work ( total and constant supervision), I just have no idea what else to do. I do have another dog in the house: a 7 year old lab, fully house trained. I had really no issues with her- maybe a week worth of training was all it took to get her to never make an accident inside. But my shihtzu poo is REALLY giving me a hard time.

This morning really took the cake for me. I awoke at 555 am, and since he had darted and ran from me last week peeing and pooping everywhere, I NOW open the crate ever so slightly, stick the leash straight in it and hook him up WHILE he is in the crate and take him immediately outside. I always carry treats in my pocket in case he does the deed. So this morning, with beggin strips intact, I took my dog out at 6 am.

There he sat: in the rain, refusing to move, crying and whimpering. (I EVEN took him to be groomed thinking perhaps his toenails were hurting him. Everything is good there and he did get his toenails done and some bleaching, etc). And there I stood, in the rain, for twenty minutes with my back turned away from him ( as I read on dog training sites) trying to get him to move. I kept peeking to make sure I didn't miss him going. He never did. He just sat and groaned and whimpered at me. After twenty minutes of that, I hitched him up to the peg and went and sat on the porch. For ten of those minutes, he could see me. Again, he still refused to move.
After THOSE ten minutes- I went inside and watched him through the kitchen curtains. He couldn't see me, but I could sure see him. Again, he didn't move- just got louder with the whining and barking. In total: the dog was outside for forty minutes.

After those forty minutes, I decided ok- I am going to bring him back in and offer him food and water, then try again.

He ate some food, drank a ton of water with me standing RIGHT there. I releashed him and took him back outside. This time, I tried for twenty minutes. Nothing- just the odd behavior of sitting there whining and refusing to move.

Soooo after all that, I decide to bring the dog in. It had started to rain harder so I took an umbrella out with me the second time. And here is what happened: on the way in, I had the dog's leash in one hand and the umbrella in the other. I stopped for PERHAPS a total of two minutes WITH the dog in my hand to put the umbrella back up on the hook and also start a pot of coffee. When I started the pot, I turned around and realized that I was standing in the middle of a HUGE pool of urine all over the floor. Not to mention, but he was DEAD squat starting to poop. I yelled NO firmly, bent down - scooped him up and headed for the door. I about broke my face in dog urine but made it out the door.

I sat him down in the grass and he did a ton of circles. Then, he sat down and growled at me staring intently in my eyes for the next ten minutes.

My dog is once again tied to me- like I said- as I write this, but honestly? I am just flabbergasted. This is one stubborn dog or I am one dumb dog owner, but I just have no clue what else to do with him. If he is so brazen to pee being attached to me, I have no idea what is going to stop him from pooping either if I take my eyes off him too long.

HELP??!!

DoubleRR
September 30th, 2010, 09:55 AM
Wow. Kudos to you. I honestly would not have gone this long. I have owned many breeds and have never not had a house trained dog by 6 mths of age. At some point, somehow, this dog was trained to go IN the house, and that is where he believes he must go. That may have happened during the moving scented mats training. I only crate train from day one. I am afraid I would never allow him to be loose in the house again, unless he has just pooped outside and is wearing a belly band. Then, when he pees he pees himself. If you have not seen them, they are like a velcro attached diaper around his waist, with extra absorbing padding inside. Never let him in the house without one, while you continue the training.

luckypenny
September 30th, 2010, 11:12 AM
You name it and I have tried it.

How long did you stick with any one method? At what age did you get him and from where?

I've copied several of your sentences for the purposes of trying to help you see/understand your dog.

Instead of walking with me though, he REFUSES to move... Now, he just sits there like a lump refusing to move.

I used one of those pegs and started tying him out. I would sit on the porch and see if maybe MY presence was bothering him. Nope. He would then sit, look like a lump and whine hysterically.

I figured "AH HA" though, I caught him in the act! I gave him some VERY firm no's ( mostly while chasing him) and when I caught him took him directly outside.

There he sat: in the rain, refusing to move, crying and whimpering.

He just sat and groaned and whimpered at me. After twenty minutes of that, I hitched him up to the peg and went and sat on the porch. For ten of those minutes, he could see me. Again, he still refused to move.

Nothing- just the odd behavior of sitting there whining and refusing to move.

I yelled NO firmly, bent down - scooped him up and headed for the door.

I sat him down in the grass and he did a ton of circles. Then, he sat down and growled at me staring intently in my eyes for the next ten minutes.

First of all, take a real deep breath. Now, if you think you're stressed, imagine how your dog is feeling. Do you see the common theme in the bold above? It would seem to me that your little guy has no idea what's expected of him and is starting to become defensive ie "he sat down and growled at me." Chasing him and yelling will certainly contribute to this. Do you think he's afraid to eliminate in front of you? For one reason or another, he's holding it in in your immediate presence (until he physically can't any longer) because he's made some pretty negative associations. He's not even going outside when he's pegged because he knows that you + the presence of pee & poop = something bad.

My suggestions...choose one method and stick to it. If it's tethering to yourself and a crate, then perhaps you can place the crate near the door so you don't have to carry him around or risk having him take off in the house. Keep your mood upbeat and, if there's been an accident, well, clean it up. Don't react to him at all, pretend like he's not even there. If and when he goes outside (don't even coax him, just leave him be), quietly say "yes" and offer him a high value treat, something he normally doesn't get like cheese, small pieces of weiners, ham, turkey, liver, etc. You can give him tiny little morsels, about 5-6 of them in quick succession. Please do so calmly, without saying anything else to him.

Is there anyone else in the home to give you a hand in taking him out in the morning and every so often throughout the day?

Do you spend any one on one time with him just doing something fun that doesn't require any expectations from him? Does he like to chase toys, go for walks, learn new tricks, etc? Would you consider attending a gentle method training class so you can both learn how to communicate more effectively with each other and in turn reinstate a trusting mutual relationship?

AmberP
September 30th, 2010, 11:53 AM
All I can think to suggest to you is some tough love. It's the step I'm on, I guess the one just before the crying hysterically on the front porch that you're doing. My two year old male Pom won't poop outside unless he's absolutely forced to.

My tough love involves lots and lots of crating him. If your shihpoo is willing to pee while attached to you via leash two minutes after coming in, he can't have that opportunity. Open the crate in the morning, put him outside. Prepare his breakfast. Go to check if he's done his business (Dogs generally poop after they pee, I find) and if he has, praise him profusely. Bring him to the poop and make the fact that poop exists on the ground the best thing ever- the exact opposite of common housetraining technique, where poop on the floor is the worst thing ever. Then let him in and keep him umbilicalled to you, or in a pen nearby.

If he won't, pick him up, bring him in, and immediately crate him with breakfast. Let him out when he's done, bring him outside, leave him be. Wait for him to poop. If he won't, back to the crate. Repeat indefinitely, until he's pooping reliably outside.

bendyfoot
September 30th, 2010, 12:06 PM
All I can think to suggest to you is some tough love. It's the step I'm on, I guess the one just before the crying hysterically on the front porch that you're doing. My two year old male Pom won't poop outside unless he's absolutely forced to.

My tough love involves lots and lots of crating him. If your shihpoo is willing to pee while attached to you via leash two minutes after coming in, he can't have that opportunity. Open the crate in the morning, put him outside. Prepare his breakfast. Go to check if he's done his business (Dogs generally poop after they pee, I find) and if he has, praise him profusely. Bring him to the poop and make the fact that poop exists on the ground the best thing ever- the exact opposite of common housetraining technique, where poop on the floor is the worst thing ever. Then let him in and keep him umbilicalled to you, or in a pen nearby.

If he won't, pick him up, bring him in, and immediately crate him with breakfast. Let him out when he's done, bring him outside, leave him be. Wait for him to poop. If he won't, back to the crate. Repeat indefinitely, until he's pooping reliably outside.

Just wanted to clear something up (in bold up there)...acting like poop on the floor is the worst thing ever is NOT (or should not be) a common housetraining technique and can lead to fear and inappropriate elimination. If you find poop on the floor, and didn't catch the dog in the act, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in showing it to the dog or making a scene over it...they will not associate the poop on the floor with something they did a while ago (even if only a minute ago) and will simply make the association MOM=MAD/SCREAMING AT ME. Not what you want. Just clean it up and move on.

Similarly, taking a dog over to a poop that he/she did outside will not reinforce the notion that they did it outside and that this is positive...just that there's poop there. The trick is catching the dog in the act.

If you see them poop indoors (which you should if they're on umbellical), say "no", and immediately pick up/lead the dog outside. If they do any more poop out there, use your command/training word (we use "go poop" and "go pee") and praise like crazy AS THEY POOP. If my dog is peeing I say "GOOD pee", if pooping I say "good poop". Even though my dogs are housetrained I still reinforce the verbal cues so if I ever need them to go in a hurry, they will.

lilwhitefurball
October 6th, 2010, 12:30 PM
i would say that bendyfoot here said it good. It would be best to say what you have to say while yur shihtzu is on the act. it will cue him that what he is doing is something that pleases or angers you. plus, lots more of patience, you may have tried lots of countless methods but the fact is that your dog won't get to be all housetrained overnight.

goodluck!

JennieV
October 6th, 2010, 01:10 PM
What I get from your long post is one word... FRUSTRATION. You are so frustrated it was quite clear and unpleasant to read, it breathes anger and if your dog is experiencing it in person - wow, no kidding he will run from you! NOw, I would liek to VALIDATE your frustration, you have tried alot of methods, but for some reason they are not working... its time to start over:

I suggest the following: start from square one. Wipe the sleight clean and begin training as you would a new puppy. Don't rely on previous experiences and as LP said, stick to one method, maybe two (crate training and umbillical). You are confusing the dog with mixed messages: at first it was ok to pee/poop inside on the puppy pads, but now its not ok to do so on the carpets? see what I mean? They don't know how the carpet is different!

I feel that if my mom was coming into my room first thing in the morning with an angry face and frustration with no apparent reason or fault of my own - I would feel scared, unsure, untrusting, Hell, I would be afraid to look at her, never mind pee or poop in her presence... You get the drift!

Positive reinforcement doesn't mean just stuffing the dog full of treats, it means reinforcing the GOOD part while ignoring the bad. This way the dog doesn't get to hear the "NO, NO!! F*?%/*$"*!!!!!NOT AGAIN!!CRAP!!**&&?%&%*&**!!!" He gets to hear "OMG, you are such a GOOD BOY FOR GOING !!" he gets to smile, rather than cower... Whats happening right now is that the dog is getting constant punishment: crate, screaming,crate, screaming, tethering, screaming...And yes, he is seeing the crate not as his den, but as a confinement.
Most important though is changing your attitude. They pick up on the frustration and the anger, they can read our body language so well..! You just HAVE to start over, as if its a brand new dog with no training whatsoever.
:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: Good luck..! :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

JennieV
October 6th, 2010, 01:19 PM
Just wanted to clear something up (in bold up there)...acting like poop on the floor is the worst thing ever is NOT (or should not be) a common housetraining technique and can lead to fear and inappropriate elimination. If you find poop on the floor, and didn't catch the dog in the act, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in showing it to the dog or making a scene over it...they will not associate the poop on the floor with something they did a while ago (even if only a minute ago) and will simply make the association MOM=MAD/SCREAMING AT ME. Not what you want. Just clean it up and move on.

Similarly, taking a dog over to a poop that he/she did outside will not reinforce the notion that they did it outside and that this is positive...just that there's poop there. The trick is catching the dog in the act.

If you see them poop indoors (which you should if they're on umbellical), say "no", and immediately pick up/lead the dog outside. If they do any more poop out there, use your command/training word (we use "go poop" and "go pee") and praise like crazy AS THEY POOP. If my dog is peeing I say "GOOD pee", if pooping I say "good poop". Even though my dogs are housetrained I still reinforce the verbal cues so if I ever need them to go in a hurry, they will.
Exactly... Works for me too...! :thumbs up